Posts from December 2017

Mike Rowe & Mike Huckabee

December 21st, 2017

I’ve always enjoyed Mike Rowe’s television series Dirty Jobs. It was a celebration of the working class, and was presented with just the right amount of light-hearted, gross-out humor.

That’s why I was disappointed to see Rowe’s new series, Somebody’s Gotta Do It, being hawked by Republican politician and Christian con-man Mike Huckabee. Perhaps best known for his failed 2016 presidential candidacy, Huckabee holds pretty much every far-right political position you would expect: he opposes abortion, universal health care, marriage equality, and the teaching of evolution. He is truly odious.

Huckabee does not appear in Somebody’s Gotta Do It, which seems similar to Dirty Jobs minus the “dirty” theme, but the show airs on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), and Huckabee hosts one of its most popular programs. (A previous incarnation of Somebody’s Gotta Do It, with a different format, aired on CNN until it was cancelled last year in favor of increased coverage of the aforementioned presidential race.)

I was gratified, then, to learn that Rowe had addressed the issue on his blog, in response to a reader who raised concerns about his affiliation with Huckabee and TBN:

Somebody’s Gotta Do It is a non-religious, non-partisan, family friendly show. Like Dirty Jobs, it celebrates the kind of Americans I most admire—hardworking, passionate, ambitious individuals who make our country a better place.

Isn’t this the sort of content you’d like to see more of? I get that you despise TBN. I get that you despise Mike Huckabee. But given your affection for me, your fondness for the shows I produce, and your admiration for my charitable work—I would think you’d want my message to reach as many people as possible. Well, TBN reaches 98% of the country. Wouldn’t you like their audience to see Somebody’s Gotta Do It? Moreover, wouldn’t you like TBN to purchase more shows like this, and maybe evolve into the kind of network you don’t despise?

Here’s the thing, Carsen—I don’t have my own network, or my own channel. I make the programs I like, and hope someone buys them.

Rowe goes on to note, not with a little irony, that he received a similar response from the other side of the fence when his more conservative fans learned that the previous version of the show was going to air on CNN.

The idea of TBN transforming that much by broadcasting more areligious programming is frankly laughable. The problems with the network, its programming, and its audience, are too fundamental.

But the rest of Rowe’s point is well made. I’m disappointed to see a host I otherwise admire end up on a network like TBN, but I’m glad he’s been able to find a home for a show he’s clearly passionate about, and bring it to an audience who might otherwise never have been exposed to it.

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